Publication: News24 Issued: Date: 2004-03-08 Reporter: Sapa

UDM Slams ANC Over 'Lack of Accountability'




Date 2004-03-08



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The United Democratic Movement has accused the ruling African National Congress of a "staggering lack of accountability".

UDM president Bantu Holomisa said on Monday that it had not yet received a response from the ANC four days after a media report that its youth league (ANCYL) was involved in a wide array of business deals.

Holomisa said it was "simply unacceptable that a political organisation could have business interests in companies that benefited from government tenders."

The Mail and Guardian reported on Friday that ANCYL "seemed in part to have become a vehicle for elites and a reference point for businesses seeking to engage political capital".

"This account probes the extent to which the ruling party's youth wing may have been prepared to use its access to state power to feather its own financial nest - and the extent to which business people entering business relationships with league companies have seen this as giving them special access to the government.

"Many of the youth league's office bearers are actively pursuing business interests," the article mentioned.

Holomisa said: "Clearly this arrangement is designed by the ANCYL as a way to peddle influence at a price. If members of the ANC want to go into the corporate world, they should do so, but the ANC cannot use government influence to get deals that are funded by the taxpayer. That is patently immoral."

The party's president said that while the ANCYL seemed to have developed some skill at enriching themselves, the youth of the country still wondered when the Umsombuvo Fund was going to start distributing the millions that lay dormant in its accounts.

"These are the type of abuses that must be exposed and that the ANC should be held accountable for. This is what the UDM has done since its launch, and this is what me and my colleagues will continue to do in the next five years."

Holomisa was speaking in Johannesburg at the introduction of the party's top twelve candidates for the upcoming elections.

The candidates are Ntopile Marcel Kganyago, Malizole Diko, Martin Stephens, Nonhlanhia Clarlbel Nkabinde, George Tembela Madikiza, Jacobus Tapedi Maseka, Thabsile J Msiza, Agnes Qikani, Desmond Padiachey, Kushca J Tlhoaela, Hendrik Lombard and Brian Hermez.

He said his listed colleagues reflected the demographics of South Africa in a multitude of ways.

"It is yet another indication of the UDM's continued commitment to be a political home for all South Africans. Aside from its representative nature in terms of race and culture, this group also displays a balanced mix of experienced, youth, technical skills and political experience."

The party's president said the provinces and regions of the entire country were well represented.

"You will note that once again there are a number of women representatives, we have gained prominent positions. I want to emphasise that my colleagues are here on merit and because they are committed to participate in the new South Africa.

"We have attained such a high degree of representivity because the UDM is a vibrant party, we continued to attract very talented and dedicated individuals from all walks of life and from all regions in the country."

The UDM, which launched its KwaZulu-Natal election manifesto in January will hold a rally in Bushbuck Ridge in Limpopo on Sunday.

With acknowledgements to Sapa and News24.